Internet Explorer Unsafe for 284 Days in 2006

An interesting study done by Security Fix indicates that using Internet Explorer was “unsafe” for 284 days in 2006. They defined unsafe as having unpatched “critical” level security flaws with published exploits on how to take advantage of them. If my math is correct, surfing the web with Internet Explorer was unsafe for 78% of last year.

By way of contrast, Mozilla Firefox was found to be unsafe - unpatched critical vulnerabilities with published exploit code - for 9 days in 2006.

There’s a story about the study in the Washington Post, which you can find here.

Personally, I’m a use-whatever-you-want kind of person, as long as you don’t come griping to me when malware grinds your Windows machine to a halt. I finally had to tell my father that if he continued to use Internet Explorer, I was no longer going to fix his PC when it became unworkable (2-3 times a year).

This was a harsh sentence. For many users, simply moving the back and forward buttons around on a browser can represent a devastating loss. Most users aren’t interested in how things work; they memorize a sequence of events. To change an event causes them to scrap their entire knowledge base for that particular action, and I can empathize with that in a mildly condescending way. As long as it doesn’t effect me that is.

My father bit the bullet and uses Firefox now (or at least he’s lying about it quite authoritatively), and all as been well for some time. Now I need to ween him off of Outlook Express….

In any event, the moral of the story: friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer.